Soul veteran Don Bryant has released “Is It Over,” the second offering from his forthcoming album You Make Me Feel. The album is a follow-up to Bryant’s triumphant 2017 return-to-form Don’t Give Up on Love, his first record in nearly a half-century.
Bryant, 78, co-wrote every song on the new album, and “Is It Over” is a classic broken-down-romance tune from the singer who co-wrote the soul classic “I Can’t Stand the Rain” for his wife Ann Peebles in the early Seventies.
“Sometimes people don’t want to admit that a relationship is over, so they go round and round in a circle,” Bryant tells Rolling Stone of what inspired the new track. “I wanted to ask, ’Is it over?’ And if it is, should it be this way? If not, what’s going on?”
The song, as Bryant’s producer Scott Bomar puts it, “has a classic sound that feels like it could have been cut in Memphis or Muscle Shoals in the Sixties.”
Bryant has been quarantining with Peebles, his wife of 46 years, at their home outside Memphis. “I’m trying to be as calm as I can,” says Bryant. “The more I take my mind off it by playing music, the better I feel.”
Bryant and Peebles worked together at Memphis’ Hi Records during the label’s Seventies heyday. He originally had ambitions to be a solo artist, but eventually settled into a background role. “I wanted to be a part of it,” he told RS in 2017. If it wasn’t gonna be the singing, I was content with trying to do the writing.”
Bryant says that the increased time at home has led to an unexpected period of creativity. “I’ve been writing new songs,” he says. “It seems like every minute, I’m hearing new songs come into my mind. I get down at the piano, come up with a verse. Music is one of my greatest loves. When I can concentrate on that, I can take my mind off everything else.”
You Make Me Feel will be released May 8th on Fat Possum.